Fusion Audio Solutions Doing Big Things For Local Musicians
I am constantly surprised by Grand Junction, in a good way.
At times, it can feel like a cultural wasteland, but every once in a while something or someone enters the picture, changing my whole perspective, reminding me that there are hidden gems to be discovered here, if you look hard enough.
In the case of this column, that gem is Taylor Riley. The guy has been hiding in plain sight and his influence on the local music scene is profound, but I’ve only just discovered what a treasure his talent is.
Riley’s most public face may be behind the drum kit with his death metal band Exussem, but it is behind a mixing board where he is making the biggest impact.
As the owner of the Fusion Audio Solutions recording studio, Riley has recorded and/or mastered audio for a literal who’s who list of local musicians.
Shotgun Hodown. Augmented. The Tankerays. Zolopht and the Destroyers. Tight Thump. Obtuse. Murder Café. Showcage. Gnar. Sole Aggression. Jack + Jill. Dinosaur the Musical. The list goes on and on and on.
“Before a few years ago, I never would have thought there was such a vibrant presence to our obviously prospering music scene,” Riley said. “Just when I thought I’d seen it all, another person or group succeeds in completely surprising me.”
As you can see, Riley has worked with a very diverse selection of local musicians. He is quite unique in that way.
From the outside looking in you may think that a death metal drummer would have no place working on a reggae album with Zolopht or a rockabilly album with The Tankerays. Yet it works because Riley himself is as diverse as the musicians he works with.
Like many people, he first learned how to play music in school, specifically orchestra.
“I actually learned violin as a first instrument and kept with it for over seven years in school. From there, I learned electric guitar and bass. After playing both in numerous bands, I eventually decided to teach myself how to play drums. I haven’t put down my sticks since,” he said.
Being a multi-instrumentalist and playing in a number of bands has helped Riley develop a well-rounded skill set and taste perfectly built for running a recording studio. You also could say it’s in his blood.
It was a push from his mother and father that gave him direction. They were both home recording enthusiasts and, after recording his seventh-grade garage band, really inspired Riley to do it himself.
“From then, I started making my own recordings of anything I could with old tape players. My high school band teacher first introduced me to digital recording and I basically soared from there.”
Walking through his studio, it’s clear Riley has come a long way since those initial lo-fi analog recordings. Crammed into two north Junction bedrooms is more sound equipment than I’d ever know what to do with. Couple that with 15 plus years of recording experience, and Riley can make anyone sound good.
Word is starting to get out too about the work Riley has done. More than a few local bands have raved about his work, and it has opened plenty of doors for Riley and his studio.
“Very soon I will begin new projects with Jack + Jill, as well as a few others that I have waiting in line,” Riley said. “I also will be doing some mixing and mastering for Sworn Us Under and Shotgun Hodown.”
Riley also hinted that a live CD/DVD project for a rather big local group may be coming down the pipeline. Though he wouldn’t say which band it was, it’s another project sure to build up Riley’s reputation.
Listening to what Riley has helped local bands record, it’s obvious that this gem isn’t going to stay hidden for much longer. In fact the secret may already be out.